Blog

My story (so far)

The last few years I've had a lot of fun working on internet businesses – creating products, ad campaigns, web apps, and releasing them to the world.

I like to work fast, documenting the ups and downs. The ones that worked, the ones that didn't, and why.

If you enjoy this stuff, please share and say g'day at charlie@gearsi.de

Where I've been

In the last decade I've been a designer, web developer and advertising creative.

As a teenager my love for Photoshop and cars had me illustrating the car designs of the future. According to Wikipedia, this scene now has a name – Virtual Tuning, though I called it 'photoshopping cars'.

This led soon led to my first website, awkwardly coded from tables in Adobe Dreamweaver. This also led to my first dollar on Google AdSense. The cost-per-click on car keywords was beyond good, so this served like a gateway drug into the world of online business.

From there, throughout university, I worked as a web developer and UI designer in a bank and startup incubator in Sydney, Australia. I learnt Perl, JavaScript and built a bunch of websites. Many of them don't bear repeating – though ShapeDatabase, stocked with free files of pentagons and dodecahedrons, was a particular low point.

From there, convinced that I was cooler than my computer science cohort, chased a shiny position in an Advertising Agency. With my dad's advertising war stories from the Golden Age of the 1980s ringing in my ears, I thought I had found my calling.

Turns out, it's nothing like Mad Men anymore, thanks to the A-bomb that was the internet. Budgets are smaller, marketers are more timid and ideas just aren't as wide-reaching as they used to be.

So, an about-turn. In 2016 I quit my advertising job, grateful for what it taught me about branding and clear communication. I went back to technology and startups and reskilled in JavaScript (this time, Node.js).

In the last couple of years I've built two web apps (Decka and WorldwideMed) and two brands (Petflair and Van Diemen's Land), and each one is taking my closer to my goal of building a successful online business.

In 2018, my plan is to take fewer, bigger bets and improve my focus. To say yes to fewer things and execute one project at a time.

As of March 2018, I'm Creative Director at Australian furniture startup Koala.com